It was a successful operation designed to find and kill Zarqawi, and is also regarded as responsible for finding and killing many insurgents. It was also riddled with abuse, torture and murder of prisoners:
For an elite unit with roughly 1,000 people at any given time, Task Force 6-26 seems to have had a large number of troops punished for detainee abuse. Since 2003, 34 task force members have been disciplined in some form for mistreating prisoners, and at least 11 members have been removed from the unit, according to new figures the Special Operations Command provided in response to questions from The New York Times. Five Army Rangers in the unit were convicted three months ago for kicking and punching three detainees in September 2005.
Its motto: "If you don't make them bleed, they can't prosecute for it." McChrystal appears to be the anti-Petraeus. No wonder Cheney loves him. But why then did Obama pick him for Afghanistan? In the wake of horrifying news of unintended civilian casualties, in a war where the US is already intensely unpopular, Obama has picked a leader who can be directly linked to the worst images and incidents of prisoner torture and abuse under Bush.
And one can't help but wonder at the same time: is McChrystal the reason for the sudden volte-face on the abuse photos? Their resurfacing would make hearings very awkward.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.